Microsoft and BMW form “Open Manufacturing Platform,” based on Azure

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Microsoft and BMW have partnered to launch the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP), an initiative that brings the power of Azure computing with AI and machine learning to help reduce costs and increase innovation within the manufacturing sector.

BMW is already a heavy investor in Azure services, holding over 3,000 machines, robots, and other autonomous systems within their own BMW Group IoT Platform. Additionally, BMW has even sought to integrate Cortana into the new BMW 5 Series Sedan as part of their “BMW Connected” platform.

“Microsoft is joining forces with the BMW Group to transform digital production efficiency across the industry,” stated Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and AI Group.“Our commitment to building an open community will create new opportunities for collaboration across the entire manufacturing value chain.”

The new partnership is expected to bring in more manufacturers and suppliers, somewhere between four to six as an initial set of partners. The companies also plan to bring at least 15 different use cases, which will be rolled out into select production environments before the end of the year.

Microsoft explains in their blog post that the OMP will allow participating members access to greater opportunities, which will enable them to create and integrate their industrial solutions more quickly and securely. All members will also be able to benefit from sharing software solutions with each other, which will in turn help reduce costs and labor.